“Traveling Mercies” by Victoria Bosch Murray

Let the train be there.
Let it be the right train.
Let there be a seat.
Let these things be unsaid.

Movement is relative:
a plane forms a contrail like a mower
on a Saturday morning, like memory,
or time. A finch is a common bird,

it will nest anywhere—
between morning sleep, no
alarm, awake to sun on granite

ledge, snails in the hedges
alone, and the Boston of

sweet buns, bums
and business suits, spicy
sausage and onions,

spring sun and sin
on the Common in June.
There’s no such thing

as a trip to nowhere.
If a clock is time, what is a map?
How to know if it’s you or the other person.

Let sunset be graffiti in chain link.
Let a triple-decker be the color of birth.
Let the price be mercy—

A wrong turn can be meditation.
A coin can be the whole fountain.

Victoria Bosch Murray’s poetry has appeared in American Poetry Journal, Booth, Field, Greensboro Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Salamander, Tar River Poetry, The Potomac, and elsewhere. Her chapbook of poems On the Hood of Someone Else’s Car was published in 2010. She has an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College and is a contributing editor at Salamander.